#TheWalkingDead Season 9 Episode 9 "Adaption" Early Access Recap

AMC hit a home run with this Mid-Season premiere. While the pemiere is still officially a week away, I got granted early access into 9x09. And, I am here to recap the beautiful job that was 'Adaption'.

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Adaption began where the mid-Season finale left off; in the graveyard. They quickly recapped the mayhem that unfolded and got to it. In the distance, you can hear "You die now" whispered somewhere inside the mass of dead. They grab Jesus's body and vacate the graveyard but as walkers pile up against the the fence, a hand resches down and unlocks the gate.

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Negan has escaped! He is now a free man! But what does he do besides do what a rational newly free man should do (escape), he does the opposite and parooses his way around Alexandria. After munching on some garden fresh vegetables, he grabs himself a shovel and raids the Grimes' house. He takes a compass and some clothes. Afterwards, he heads out but not before he is interrupted by Judith. He tells her that she knows him better than anyone has in a long while. He needs to leave because he no longer has a purpose. He tells her that her mom and dad said that he had a purpose for Alexandria to become a thriving place which it had so he was no longer needed in his 10x10. She didn't want do let him leave but she did with a promise; to shoot if she saw him. He climbed over the wall and she walked away. At the Hilltop, Alden, Tara, Enid and Marco were working on a plan of attack for a search party for Michonne and the others when Luke came up. He wanted to lend a hand because he felt bad for the others to be doing something and he wasn't. Alden decides to have him help them out. He would take Luke out on a search team. The group emerges frustrated and confused. Aaron asks Daryl if he thinks there is more of them and he does. Michonne and Daryl bring Jesus' body to a horse and they move on. On the way home, she tells him that she backs the newcomers as did Judith. She tells him that the people of Hilltop will appreciate bringing Jesus back to bury. He apologizes for not being able to do so for her and she apologizes for not being able to do it for both of their sakes. Dog suddenly alerts them to something when they come across a small pack. Daryl tests it out by shooting two in the knee. One is a dead and on is an alive. The walkers attack the live and the other whisperer freaks, immediately dropping to her knees. Daryl snatches the mask from her head and she begs him for mercy. Michonne puts the katana to her throat and asks her questions which she doesn't comply with. Daryl says they'll take her with and her answers another way. They head out. Michonne threatens to make her one in stead of pretending to be one if she tried anything hanky.

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As the commercials end, we see Negan taking a much needed breather. He's seeing true that Judith was right. A walker suddenly comes to cramp his style. He finished his water and decides to kill it. One wack isn't enough so he takes another swing and kills it. As he backs up, he backed into a walker which grabbed him. He gets free and takes it's head clean off. From there, he finds a river and takes a few drinks but regrets it and ends up throwing it up. He finds himself in a deja vu predicament and walks into the field where him and his men killed Abraham and Glenn. He grabs his shovel and moves on. Michonne and the others arrive back at Hilltop where everyone is quickly updated by the sight of Jesus' body. Tara touched his body in disbelief and Aaron and Enid embrace. Daryl, Michonne, Yumiko and Magna lift his body from the horse. Michonne and Daryl take the whisperer to the barracks. Tammy Rose tells Tara that people are going to want answers. She tells her that they need leadership. Henry is down there and Daryl tells him that Jesus is dead. Michonne throws her into a chair in a cell and tells her there will be no more bullshit. Negan is in a town outside of the Sanctuary when he sees a clothing store. He walks in and sees a “leather” sign. He smiles and makes his way down there. But when he gets there, he sees a bloody mess of a corpse and a few mannequins as well as a flashlight that actually works. After a moment, he goes through the jacket selection and finds himself one. When he was looking for other things, a dog growl is suddenly heard…then three dogs appeared. He runs and they chase after. He barely escaped the jaws of death. After a moment, they leave. He runs but they come back. He finally got the back door open and throws a walker inside after them. He shuts the door quickly and catches his breath.

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Alden and Luke take out on horseback in the field that Daryl, Jesus and Aaron took on when they were looking for Eugene. Alden asks if Luke has played any instruments and he admits that he's dabbled in singing a time or two if enough drinks are in him. They suddenly see an arrow and Luke recognizes it as one of Yumiko's. He finds another one. They hear growls and Alden spots a big “herd.” He tells Luke that they have to be careful because if they get lost they'll be out all night. Michonne begins to interrogate the new jailmate of Henry's but she won't budge. Daryl asks about the walker skins and she said its what they do to survive. She tells them that it's her and her mom and they saw the world change and her mom said they had to evolve. She begs Michonne to stop. When they meet upstairs, she tells Daryl and Tara that she doesn't believe a single word that came from her mouth. Daryl tells Michonne that he'll get it out of her one way or another. Michonne tells him that she needs to get her people back to Alexandria and warn them of the new threat at hand. She tells Daryl that keeping her there is a risk but Daryl reassures her that he'll get her to talk. In the infirmary, Siddiq gets Eugene's knee back into place. Hr apoligizes for possibly injuring him. After he leaves, he tells Rosita what he’s been meaning to…or tries. But, she gets up and leaves abruptly. She runs outside to throw up. When Siddiq comes, she rejects his offers of help but tells him that shes pregnant with his kid. Eugene hears all of this. Daryl and Henry are watching Jesus' grave being dug. He asked Daryl if alcohol always makes one feel 'this bad ‘ Daryl tells him that being stupid is what makes one feel like that. He tells him that he has to spend one more night in the cell. Henry apoligizes and tells him that he's just trying to find his place.

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“Home, sweet home.” Negan found his way back to the Sanctuary with a lead pipe as a weapon and Judith's compass. As he looks at his previous home, he smiles. When he walks into the building, he whistles the iconic Savior Whistle and takes in all the damage. It’s not pretty. Furnature is destroyed, water is everywhere, not a songke soul in sight. He leans on the railing and sighs. He finds himself breaking into the garage where a bike is seen. But he hears something. So, he investigates and finds an old comrad named Ritchy that's been long gone. He tells him “look at you, loyal to the end.” Michonne gathers supplies at the Hilltop when Aaron came over to tell her she was right about keeping Alexandria their own place to protect. She sees Daryl and Dog emerge from a high perched area and tells him “please tell me you didn't sleep up there.” he laughs and says “what? The penthouse suite? Dog picked it.” She tells him that Hilltop needs a leader and he’s the best judge of character she knows. Negan began to check out the Sanctuary. He walked down the stairs he knce ruled happily. He goes to the room where they used to have meeting and he sighed. “Wow. Shit.” He goes back to the factory floor and turned some of the overturned furniture right way. He sits down and contemplates until he hesrs something again. He gets up and sees that a few walkers are being drawn away by Walker Ritchy. He calls them over and kills them all except Walker Ritchy. He locks him out of the Sanctuary. He pulls the compass out and was about to walk away when he decided to take care of business. “I'm sorry big man but its just not working out.” He kills it.

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Daryl and Michonne exchange a look after Jesus is laid to rest. Daryl goes down into the basement and tells the girl he wants answers. He asked her is she wanted to die. Henry tells but Daryl shushes him. He tells her that the good people upstairs want to string her up and all he has to do is drag her up the stairs. He grabs her and throws her against the bars and puts a blade in her face. She admits that they were going to kill the people who were there. He asks her how many people are in their group and at fkrst she tells him 10 then she says that its only her mom left. Daryl calls her a liar and goes to drag her up the stairs but Henry tells him to stop. She begs for him to stop and he locks her cell. He gets on Henry and leaves. She thanks him and he gets her name all the while Daryl hears every word. Negan is seen riding a bike when Judith shoots at him and he comes crashing down. “Alright slow down kid. I know you did you'd shoot but damn. She gets on him. “Language. I'm a kid, asshole.” He apoligizes. He gives her her compass back and tells her that she was right. She asked what he was gonna do and he tells her ha’s going back 10x10 and all. She shrugs and leads the way back.

In the final scene, Luke and Alden collect the last of Yumikp's arrows. “Get ready to sing.” He tells Alden. They stop because they see a walker. But then it stops…they look at one another as one approaches and draws a sawed off double barreled shot gun on them. “Trail Ends Here.” She tells them…

Wow!!! This was one helluva way to bring in the new season. What did you think of this has-dropping mid-season premiere? The Walking Dead officially returns February 10th on AMC.

Author/Editor: Joeleen Gatlin